Time Traveler: One Nation Under a Groove

Lively Bamako, the capital of Mali, might not have shops selling the latest iPods. Nonetheless, its streets spill over with a steady stream of tunes on tap, played by some of West Africa's greatest musicians. Like Havana, this city of 1 million lives for music. By day, battered taxis blare out foot-stomping beats, while old men cross roads with radios glued to their ears. By night, Bamako is a riot of noise as singers ululate at wedding parties and the city's many music venues crank up the bass.

Style Watch: Rattan Revolution
Diversions: All Talk
Food: Season to Taste
Outdoors: Comfy Camping

The comparison to Havana is more than skin...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!